Harry Potter fans, rejoice! This morning, J.K. Rowling announced the next exciting adventure in the Harry Potter series. After seven books and eight movies, enter Pottermore. In partnership with Sony, Rowling has created a space for fans to interact and, more importantly, to purchase audiobooks and e-books. She will also be publishing “additional information [she’s] been hoarding for years about the world of Harry Potter.” Cue the squeals.
The site will officially launch this October, although a few select readers will have early access in order to help shape the new project. The website, video announcement, and press release are all a bit vague in stating exactly what Pottermore will consist of. Rowling herself says “it’s the same story with a few crucial additions. The most important one is you… Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in, and rediscover the stories.” Interpret as you wish.
For the unfortunate souls who have not taken the opportunity to enjoy the series, this is hardly news. But avid fans who live and breathe Harry Potter (guilty as charged) may be on the brink of breakdown in anticipation of the eighth film and the website.
We’ve all heard a great number of lame excuses from people who haven’t read the books, but even they cannot deny the incredible impact of Rowling’s magical creation on the cultural landscape. For one, the Harry Potter franchise has reinvented the notion of reading for pleasure for children and adults alike. And, for the especially lucky generation of readers who have grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, there is a certain magic in sharing awkward adolescent experiences with three spectacular, although fictional, characters. So addictive is the series, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of flying through 700 pages in a 24-hour period. Been there, done that.
So there’s comfort in knowing that the magical world of Harry Potter will not die with the last film. As long as there are fans willing to read and reread every book, Harry Potter and his friends will live on. And now, with Pottermore, Harry Potter will be immortalized in the digital world too. We can’t wait.